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Professional Development Journal: 2012-02-27

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Just a quick update:  Last night I began and completed through Chapter 3, Lynda.com‘s WordPress 3 Essential Training.  Total time was about 3 hours.  Tonight, my goal is to finish at least another 3 chapters.  My goal is to finish this course by the end of the week! 🙂

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Lynda.com PHP MySQL WAMP Project: Widget Corp – Progress Update – 2012.02.07

February 8, 2012 2 comments

Widget Corp tutorial progress (2012.02.07 - 1)

Hello folks.  I’ve been doing a Lynda.com tutorial called PHP With MySQL Essential Training.  I’ve actually been doing aboutg 2-8 hours per week of the multiple, sequential lessons that are involved in this excellent hands-on tutorial for about a month now.

At this point, I have completed all the basic PHP and MySQL material, and now in Chapter 13, I am creating a content management system from scratch.  I enjoy doing this video tutorial very much, though at times I have to pause to screen for 10 minutes or so to type in code manually from what’s on the screen.  When you subscribe to Lynda.com (around $30/mo) they have subscription options that provide you the example files to save you all the typing.  But, I firmly believe that, at least for me, as a relative newbie who is trying to understand all the mechanics of web application development with PHP & MySQL, the absolute best way to learn is to type everything manually.  In this way you basically link the code concepts together in your mind so that you can now type in various code modules by heart if need be.Image representing lynda.com as depicted in Cr...

At work we are using a Zend MVC-based framework, so I have practical experience in maintenance coding and creating small new features — mostly break-fixes though.  But I’m like a trained monkey — I don’t really know the mechanics and the logic of why to do things, only that somebody told me “if this, then that”.

I’m sure that sufficient for some coders, but sufficient isn’t good enough for me.  My goal is EXCELLENCE!  Therefore, I ask as many questions as I think I need to (after having already done as much research as I could on my own).  There’s no shame in my game.  After I get an answer I write it down in my journal and then I have my own “reference manual” that I can consult if I forget a step or need to recall that information down the road.  I have found that having new information written down actually results in a lesser likelihood of needing to refer to it in writing, and a greater incidence of ingraining in your brain by habit. I’m really happy with my progress on this project which I will refer to from now on as “Widget Corp”.  Basically, when it is all done I will have a highly refactored, efficient, and effective code template/framework for building customized CMS‘s.  I’m pretty psyched about having an actual “web application” that I can display to the world via my website. That image above is a screenshot showing what my app looks like in Firefox 3, locally on my Win XP machine.  Future improvements I intend to look into are:

  1. Figure out why it is bulleting blank lines.  (NOTE: I tried doing echo/exit in the code but no avail so far)
  2. Refactor to be Object Oriented.
  3. Refactor to use MVC.

Anyway. that’s all stuff down the road.  My goal for completion is March31, 2012.  Wish me luck!

Until next time, HAPPY CODING! 🙂

CodeSlayer2010